Page images

out upon

" of that enfire and exemplary parties having given their friends justice which the case demands." what is called leg bail. The

Doctor's conclusion, namely, that One can hardly help bursting this bail work has arisen from the Old Doctor here and

institutions, “ closely interwoven calling him a hypocritical vaga- with our liberties," wanted a roundbond. This is a pretty fellow, indeed, to cry up the excellence ing, namely, "envy of surround

ing nations and admiration of the of the Act of Habeas Corpus ! a

world,” which I am sorry to perpretty fellow to discover, now that

ceive is rather going out of fashion, a Bishop is caught, such a tender

not having been used but once, as ness for the 66 liberty of the sub

far as I have perceived, during ject !A pretty fellow to discover

the last Session of Parliament, and that a Magistrate violates this liberty when he refuses to take Circuits

. It is a pity it should go

only four times on the two last bail or when he delays taking its

out of use ; for it has caused more This old hack justified the delay laughter than any one thing within in taking bail in the innumerable instances, in which suchi delay unanimity in the passing of your

my recollection, not excepting the took place in the case of the Re

famous Bill about. Bullion and formers. The old hack knows

Paper-money well, that, in scores of instances bail was delayed on the alleged But, now, let us look a little at ground of want of time to ascer- the doctrine, or, rather, the law, tain the sufficiency of the bail. of old Doctors' Commons. It is We cannot help laughing, how- my opinion, that Mr. Dyer was ever, at the idea of the Magistrate not compelled to take bail at all. having had the Bill of Rights in 1 am sure that he was not comview, and that he therefore avoided pelled to take it without delay. demanding “excessive bail;" and, I am sure he was not compelled we must admire the hint of the to take it the moment it was tenold Doctors' Commons, that if the dered. I am sure that the law

Soldier (the Bishop's partner) authorises the Magistrate to hold * should now tender bail, it must in custody for forty-eight hours, be accepted !This is a good hint which he is to take, if he pleases, of old Doctors' Commons; and as time necessary for him to inthus the law-officers would have quire into the sufficiency of the nothing but names to try; the bail : or, if this be not the law,


what will you say to the following strate at Woolwich could delay in Anecdote. A man was taken up the case of the man who was at Woolwich 'for sticking up a guilty of the enormous offence of piacard, exposing the baseness of posting up a paper, reprobating <the Morning Post in asserting that the idea of sacrificing an innocent the Queen, whether guilty or in- Queen for what was called the nocent, ought to be sacrificed to 'public good. The public will not what it called the public good. fail'to draw the proper conclusion A man was taken up for posting from facts like these; and there

this placard against the house fore, I shall now come a little of a Baker who gave him leave to closer to old Doctors' Commons, post it up upon his house. He was and state the grounds of my taken before a Magistrate, who opinion with respect to this not was also a Parson. Bail was being a bajlable offence. tendered ; and that bail delayed Blackstone, in the fifteenth for forty-eight hours, on the Chapter of his fourth Book, in

ground of notice of bail: being speaking of this crime against necessary. Before the forty-eight Nature, says, as to the crime itself, hours had expired the man was " that the voice of Nature and of sent to Maidstone Gaol, where the “Reason, and express Law of Quarter Sessions were just coming God, determine it to be capital." on. A Gentleman went down from He says, that our ancient law, in London, the Baker went from some degree imitated the venWoolwica, and the man was ex- geance of God on the two offendpected to be tried; but, behold, ing cities of old, “ by commandno Bill of Indictment was pre-ing such miscreants to be burned sented against the man, who was to death, though Fleta says they then turned out of goal to find his should be buried alive : either way

back to his home as he could.“ of which punishments was inAnd this, Sir, is in this same differently used for this crime country, where old Doctors' Com

amongst the ancient Goths ; but mons would have us believe, that now, the general punishment of Mr. DYER dared not delay to bail“ all felonies is the same, namely, the Bishop! This Law of ours is by hanging." And here Blacka curious thing, indeed, if Mr.stone adds something of great imDver could not delay in the case portance in the presentcase. of the Bishop; and if the Magis- Aind the rule of law herein is,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

" that, if both are arrived at the Blackstone in the sanie Book and

years of discretion, agentes et Chapter, enumerates the cases “consentientes, pari pæna plec- in which bail cannot legally be 6 tantur.Which Latin words I taken; and amongst these, he has dare say Dr. Coppleston 'taught this,“ persons taken with the you to interpret, " both acting " manour, or in the fact of fe" and consenting and agreeing in lony." By referring to another « the act, shall receive the same part of Blackstone, we find that " punishment."

the old word manour, means So much for the nature of the mainoevre; which means, in plain offence and the legal equality of English, a handling, or having the crime. Now then, as to the hold, of the thing stolen, or being bail. It is clear, that no person about to be stolen. That relates can be bailed for a capital felony. to the case of theft. The other Blackstone says, (Book 4, Ch. 22) part of the rule relates to all felo- '. " Where imprisonment is only for nies, and particularly to a felony " safe custody before the convic-of the description which we now. “ tion, bril is ousted.. or taken have before us. " In the fact of

away, if the offenee be of a very felony,” are the words. Now, enormous nature; for then the Sir, what was the case here!. In

public is entitled to demand what situation were the parties “ nothing less than the highest seen by the witnesses ? You have "security that can be given; read the description of it. In “ that is to say, the body of the what situation were they taken to accused, in order to insure that the Watch-house? You have read “justice. shall be done upon him the description of the situation of “ if guilty. Such persons have their garments, when they were

no other sureties than the four assailed and beaten by the people. “ walls of the prisou." This would If these descriptions be true, if appear to be quite enough;, for is any thing like what these descripit not manifest upon the face of it, tions give us were true, did not that, scarcely any sum of money the act of the parties and the would be a surety in a case like manner of their detection fully this. But, if we were to admit amount to the description of the that there could be any mitiga- thing here given by Blackstone, tion; any room, for misinter- being one of the cases in which, pretation of this general doctrine,) according to him, bail is clearly

not admissible? If this case do like this; and if I rightly under not present to us that which Blackstand the law that I have read, and stone describes as one of the cases to which f have here expressly rein whichi bail is not to be taken, 1 ferred, my opinion that bail ought defy any man living to imagine not to have been taken at all, and any thing which comes up to the which opinion is conformable to words, " in the fact of felony." that of millions, I believe, will

Bail, in cases of enormous stand unshaken by the doctrine crimes, is taken only when there now put forth with such ostentaare doubts, and great doubts, too, tion by the New Times and other of the truth of the charge; and base and mercenary papers. were there any such doubts here? As to the amount of the bail, it A commitment is merely for safe is very true that the law says that custody, and not for punishment. excessive bail shall not be de“Where bail,” says Blackstone, manded; but it is equally true, “ will answer the same intention, that the law says, that, “ If the " it is right to be taken; but in “ Magistrate take insufficient bail,

felonies, and other offences of a 66 he is liable to be fined if the

capital nature, no bail can be a criminal do not appear.” Black“ security equivalent to the act:al stone states this in the 22d chapter 6 custody of the person.

For of his fourth Book. Coke, in his * what is there that a man may Institutes ; Hawkins, in his Pleas * not be induced to forfeit to save of the Crown; divers Acts of “ his own life?" It appears to Parliament, say, that insufficient me that there is no view which we sureties, are no sureties at all; can take of this matter; that there and that, to take slender bail, is is no rule or interpretation of law, a crime in the Magistrate. Hawto justify the taking of bail in this kins, says that the bail should be case; and, does not this agree proportioned to the ability and with the whole of the practice of quality of the prisoner, and to the the Justices of the Peace and of nature of the offence. Who have the Courts; I speak merely as we here, then! Nothing less than giving my opinion and belief upon a man with a revenue of from ten this point; but I am quite sure to fifteen thousand pounds a-year; that I never heard of persons the son of an Earl, the brother of being admitted to bail who were an Earl; and the uncle of an charged, on oath, with an offence Earl; and the nature of the of

[ocr errors]

fence is such, and so enormous, which demanded eighty pounds that the law itself almost blushes bail in case of the man mentioned to describe it. And here we above who was committed ta have him bailed for five hundred Maidstone Gaol? What was that pounds; and that too, within, I which kept Joseph Swann in pribelieve, six hours of the time that son for want of a hundred pound he was brought before the Magis- bail, which kept him in prison trate.

three months, previous to his four Allowing Mr. Dyer to have years and a half of imprisonhad the Bill of Rights full in his mnent, for being present at a Reeye ; allowing that a sense of form Meeting, and for selling duty and, of his oath would not pamphlets, alleged to be hostile suffer him to demand more than to the religion of which this: five hundred pounds, in a case Bishop was one of the principal like this, and from a Bishop, what teachers ? Law and Justice might are we to call the bail that is have their way in the case of the demanded and enforced in other Bishop; but if they had, have cases? This, Sir, is the most im- they their way also in the case of portant point to view the matter those numerous persons, who have in. It is here that the thing most been kept in prison for want of closely touches us. If Mr. DYER bail under the charge of libel ! could not go beyond five hundred We live in an age very unforpounds ; if this was not insuffi- tunate for this sudden outcry cient bail; if this was not what. against “ excessive bail.” This the law calls slender bail; if outcry comes at an unfortunate this was what ought to have been; time, and is applied to a most if this was justice; what shall we unfortunate case. After the pubsay of the bail demanded and lic had witnessed the bail deenforced upon Mr. Johnson, Mr. manded of Mr. Carlile ; bail for Pamfield, Mr. Moorhouse, and life, in a greater sum, I believe, others, alter the affair of Man-than that of the Bishop. After chester, of August 1816. In the the public had witnessed the bail memorable year 1319, which at in the case of his sister. After once witnessed the affair of Man- they had seen his wife sent to a chester and the passing of your dungeon with a baby in her arms. bill? If this was justice in the After they had read of the birth case of the Bishop, what was that of a child in that dungeon. After

« EelmineJätka »